Copyright: One small victory at a time
A victory for the community and free speech this past Thursday. Students who sued Diebold Election Systems won their case against the voting machine maker after a judge ruled that the company had misused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and ordered the company to pay damages and fees. Lawyers for the students call the move a victory for free speech.
Last October, students at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania posted copies and links to some 13,000 internal Diebold company memos that an anonymous source had leaked to Wired News. The memos suggested that the company was aware of security flaws in its voting system when it sold the system to states. The company sent them threatening letters aserting copyright infringement.
The ruling makes Diebold the first company to be held liable for violating section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which makes it unlawful to use the DMCA takedown threats when the copyright holder knows that infringement hasn’t occurred.